Wayne Rooney’s relationship with Everton fans hasn’t always been the best.
England’s record goalscorer rose through the ranks at the Merseyside club and he memorably scored a sensational winner against Arsenal at the age of just 16 in October 2002.
Rooney then completed a £27 million move to Manchester United in August 2004 and once he donned the famous red jersey, Everton appeared to be a thing of the past to him.
His win-at-all-costs attitude meant that he showed absolutely no affection towards the Toffees or their fans in his peak years at United.
That was never more obvious than in 2008, when a frustrated Rooney decided to wind-up the supporters that used to cheer his name in a rather inflammatory manner.
Referee Alan Wiley had to have a conversation with Rooney about the incident and the fiery striker was unsurprisingly subbed off by Sir Alex Ferguson five minutes later.
Rooney kisses the United badge
Because the referee had witnessed Rooney’s behaviour, the forward escaped a ban from the FA.
Rooney was incredibly lucky and it also wasn’t the first time that he disrespected his boyhood club…
The year before, the current Derby County manager’s celebration after putting United 3-2 ahead at Goodison Park was the catalyst for a long-running feud with Everton fans.
Rooney reacted first to a loose ball in the box and after his effort had rippled the back of the net, he decided to plant a kiss on the United badge.
Rooney celebrates in front of Everton fans
Everton fans were rightly fuming and Rooney recently admitted to former England teammate Gary Neville that he instantly regretted his actions that day.
“Yeah it was just a pure reaction to the Everton fans,” he said on Sky Sports’ Soccer Box, per Echo. “I was gutted after the game when I done it, but it was sure a big moment.
“Chelsea had played Bolton away and drew 2-2, so this had almost won us the league.”
Rooney did eventually repair his relationship with Everton fans after re-joining the club back in the summer of 2017.
He’s now rightly remembered as a legend, but for a significant period of time, the now 35-year-old was far from popular at Goodison Park.
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